Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nine-year-old surprises dad with coverage of the Mid-Summer Corvette Show at Zona Rosa

You know I love Corvettes.  And this weekend the Corvette Club of Kansas City hosted the Mid-Summer Corvette Show near my house at the Zona Rosa shopping center.  Any other weekend, I’d be there in a heartbeat.  But I went to the Leadsled Spectacular in Salina this weekend, so I missed the Corvette show.  Still, this story has a happy ending after all.  To my complete surprise, my wife and son went to this great event without me.  And as a bonus, my nine-year-old son BHo took more than 170 pictures of all the cars there.  He was excited to share them with me when I got home, and I am equally as excited to share them with you.  The kid did a great job!

Monday, July 29, 2013

962 pictures from the 33rd-Annual KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina

Last year, my dad and I had every intention of checking out the Kustom Kemps of America (KKOA) Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, Kan.  We had been hearing about this event for years, and everyone said it was not to be missed.  Unfortunately, dad ended up getting heart surgery, and going to a car show ended up being out of the question.  But things were much better this year.  Dad is doing much better, so we loaded up the truck and headed to central Kansas for the weekend.  We even met up with our Colorado friend Pat Casey, who reserved our motel rooms and took care of some of the logistics.  Wonder if he’d like to be a travel agent …

Thursday, July 25, 2013

1994-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood. Impala SS performance, complete with vinyl top and fender skirts

Most performance car enthusiasts look at the '90s with some level of fondness. Let's face it, even fast cars in the '80s usually weren't very fast, and if they had even a hint of performance, they usually used more fuel than what you got out of them.

Things improved greatly in 1992, when Chevrolet put the new 350-c.i. LT1 V8 in the Corvette. In Chevy small block history, this was a watershed moment. Corvettes were rated at 300-hp--a huge number at the time-- and people experienced fuel mileage in the mid-to-high 20s. That might not seem like that big of a deal now, but at the time, it was like a miracle.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2013 Fiat 500C Abarth test drive review. Indy 500, here we come!

Last week, we hit the Barrywoods 24 for a digital showing of Turbo, an animated movie about a little snail who dreamed of becoming fast.  Everyone told him it couldn’t be done, but when he is accidentally sucked into the blower of a street racer and doused with nitrous, he is infused with otherworldly speed so great that he qualifies for the Indianapolis 500.  Turbo even gets a new spoiler and some racing graphics to complete the package.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Platte City Cruise keeps hummin' along

Every third Saturday of the month, the bright orange water tower calls car enthusiasts like a beacon.  This is Platte City: home of the Outta’ Control Hot Rods monthly cruise.  It is the time where people pack up their hot rods and take the short trek up I-29 for a little Pizza Shoppe and a lot of fun.  But this month was a little tough for Platte City.   Intermittent rain showers and a bad forecast, plus a new event in North Kansas City all conspired to keep car count down.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Golden Oldies Car Club puts the North Kansas City Cruise back in business

One of the most common questions people seem to ask me is, “what happened to the North Kansas City Cruise?”  And the fact, is, I don’t really know.  It used to be a strong cruise, then over the past couple of years, it just started getting weaker and weaker until it died altogether.  The scuttlebutt is that the cruise’s host and the City of North Kansas City were having some trouble, and the cruise died because of it.  But last Saturday night, the Golden Oldies Car Club breathed new life into this old cruise, and even with cloudy, rainy skies, this event really delivered.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart SXT test drive review. Economy with history

The Dodge Dart has been a part of the American Automotive scene for more than 50 years.  But the nameplate disappeared from Dodge showrooms for 36 of them.  Now, after that long hiatus, the Dart is back.  I recently had the opportunity to spend a week with a 2013 Dart SXT Special Edition.  And even though I’ve always been a fan of big cars with big engines, I now have a better appreciation for the benefits of a small, economical sedan.  Let’s take a brief look at the history of the Dodge Dart in general, and specifically at my Bright Silver Metallic test car.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Catching the cars that stayed late at the 9th-Annual Vineyard Grand Classic Car Show

So Saturday, we were leisurely hitting estate sales and enjoying our lunch, when I casually noted that we should hit the annual Grand Classic Car Show at Vineyard Church in Kansas City.  It was about 1:00, and the show wasn’t too terribly far away, so off we went.  The only problem is, the awards presentation for this event took place at 1:00; a detail that I failed to observe beforehand.  As we neared the show, we started meeting several cars on the road.  Not a good sign.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fast Fridays at KC Trends showcases a new breed of car enthusiast

If you think about young car enthusiasts in the early 1950s, images of hopped-up ’32 Fords and modified Model Ts might come to mind.  Kids got what they could afford.  Sometimes they were jalopies; beaters that they bought for $10 out of their neighbor’s field.  Times were different back then.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Studebaker Driver's Club holds national meet in Colorado Springs

Each year, the Studebaker Driver’s Club holds a national meet at which Studebakers and Avantis from all over the world gather for a car show, driving tours, and camaraderie.  Often, this takes place in South Bend, Ind., home of the Studebaker.  But this year, the gathering was at the Hotel Elegante in Colorado Springs, Colo.  I wasn’t able to attend this one, but luckily our good friend Pat Casey was nice enough to send a disc full of pictures to share.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4X4 test drive review. Luxurious SUV muscle car

The Fourth of July was last week, so what better vehicle to drive during that all-American holiday than a new Jeep?  I had the opportunity to celebrate Independence Day behind the wheel of an all-new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4X4, and it really was a great experience.  I’ve been in some pretty rough vehicles with the Jeep badge affixed to them over the years, but this ain’t one of ‘em.  The new Grand Cherokee is about as refined and luxurious as you could ever want.  There’s not much here to remind you of the old Army Jeep of yore.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plain Ol' As featured at the City Market's Art of the Machine

If you haven’t been to Kansas City’s City Market area on a Sunday morning, you might want to check it out.  They really seem to be trying to make it a fun place to go, with several activities for adults and kids alike.  The big draw is the farmer’s market, where you can buy everything from fresh fruit to flowers to spices.  But there is also a little flea market or community garage sale or whatever you want to call it, and they offer barrel train rides to the kids.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Longbranch Cruise coverage whether they want it or not

I know I shouldn’t bring this up, but I’m going to anyway.  Over the years, I’ve listed the Longbranch Cruise in Overland Park on every weekly calendar I’ve ever published without anyone there asking me to.  I’ve driven from Parkville to Overland Park specifically to cover this event maybe a dozen times.  And as sort of a last-minute idea, I loaded up my family Friday night and headed down there to write about it again. 

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible test drive review. Herbie's long, lost cousin

As a child of the ‘70s, Herbie the Love Bug was part of my cultural upbringing.  Disney’s plucky Volkswagen kind of gave every Beetle a little more personality.  So when I recently got the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of a 2013 Beetle TDI convertible, I thought that sounded like a good deal.  This latest iteration of the Beetle draws even more design cues from the original than the previous generation, and my persona could use an infusion of cuteness.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The cars of the 2013 Parkville Fourth of July parade

Every year on the Fourth of July, the Hovers usually partake in the pancake breakfast at the VFW hall in our hometown of Parkville, Mo., then we take in the parade that goes down Main Street.  Of course, I naturally get excited about all the churches and politicians and things that enter floats in this parade, but between you and me, the cars are what really trip my trigger.  To that end, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting things that cruised through the crowd this morning.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beautiful Sunday at the JDRF Advance Auto Parts Car Show in Shawnee

It seems like there aren’t as many organized car shows on Sundays, but there was a look one last weekend at the new Advance Auto Parts store in western Shawnee.  This was a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and they did their cause proud with a parking lot that was overflowing with shiny machines.  It was a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the perfect weather, check out some great cars, and maybe even pick up a case of oil or a pine tree air freshener.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Went to Roxanne's for breakfast and a car show broke out

So Saturday we were eating breakfast at Roxanne’s Cafe in Parkville when a bunch of people showed up with Ferrari outfits on.  One guy even had a Ferrari logo on his phone.  It was pretty obvious that there was going to be a bunch of Ferraris parked outside.  So, when we finished eating, we went around the corner, and there they were.  Bam.  Instant car show.